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September 10, 2008


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I'm sorry if you've heard this already, I barely have time to comment, let alone read all the other comments. My ten month old has me running.

I struggle every day to pump enough, and I rarely do. I try to stock pile over the weekend. I still have to give Kiel formula once or twice a day. It's not how I wanted it to be, but it is what it is.

I find that if I don't drink enough water one day, I can't pump enough the next day. It makes a BIG difference in my supply. On top of that I take fenugreek and domperidone too. I always thought I would be a super producer, but I am just the opposite.

It took me a good month to feel comfortable with the routine once I was back to work.

You aren't alone, really that's all I wanted to say. That and make sure you are drinking your water. :)


Delurking b/c the whole pumping thing was a challenge for me too & I feel your pain...

Like Becky, my son was also a silent refluxer (no spitting up) & not diagnosed until around 5 months old. We tried Zantac -- worked for a week or two then didn't -- and then Prevacid. He was like a new baby on that. He slept better, ate more, gained weight better, and was generally happier. He went off it when he turned 1, and has never needed it since (he's almost 5). There's a description of Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease in the Dr. Sears Baby Book that cued me in. He had like 90% of those symptoms.

Re the pumping thing -- I was never very good at it either, and it totally stressed me out. The more stresed I got, the less I could pump. My best luck was getting up early, like at 5 (which I realize would be sleeping in for you), pumping, then nursing an hour or so later. I'd get more in that one session than all the rest of the day put together. Could you skip her late-night feeding, since she'd sleep through the night if you let her, and get up & pump then instead?

I also took some Rx medication toward the end of my breastfeeding year, and took fenugreek constantly. I can't remember what the medication is called, but it's something that's usually prescribed for digestive motility but also stimulates milk production. It helped a lot for a couple months.


Sorry if this is assvice, but here it is. Chloe maybe fussy at the breast because she has to work much harder than with a bottle. What might help: pump *just* long enough to get your milk to let down and then put her to breast. She'll get more milk right away and perhaps not be so mad that she is working for it.

My girl was a preemie that I pumped and bottled for for 8 weeks before transitioning back to breast...this method saved us. Hope it helps!


Glad you made a decision on the daycare that feels right for your family. Hope everything will begin to settle down now.

And happy adoption day!


Ok, there are a tons of notes of advice here and maybe someone already suggested this...but I was thinking about you last night as I was in my own exhausted stupor...

Not trying to call him out...but can Random help in any of your morning madness? I know you mentioned that he gets home late...but is he up at 5am with you? If not, could he be of some help in the morning, at least with MP while you get yourself ready and Chloe fed?

It sounds like you really want to make BF work. I can appreciate that, but I can't fully understand because I never got the chance to breastfeed. I wanted to, and I was going to try. But I decided that I would NOT let it become an issue that stressed me out so much that it would interfere with my quality of life. I had a few friends who were sent to the edge over BF.

MP wasn't breastfed and she is perfect. My kids were not breastfed and they are perfect. You have BF Chloe during the most important time. Perhaps you can give yourself a little time, and then if things don't work out, then give yourself permission to FF.


The baby sounds like she's crying a lot because she's hungry. There is nothing wrong with giving her formula and giving up the pumping/breastfeeding. Your whole family, including the baby, will be happier. Baby will be nourished properly, and you will be better rested and have time for your other daughter.

Also, the baby shouldn't be missing meals. I'd be fuming at the daycare if my baby only had four ounces of milk in 8 hours. I breastfed and formula fed and have no problem with either. Formula never repulsed me. What repulsed me was when someone was so bent on breastfeeding that their baby would be crying from hunger or ended up back in the hospital because of lack of nourishment. When breastfeeding becomes a problem, it's time to move on. Otherwise everyone in the family suffers, including the baby.

You're blaming your job on all this. You are in control. Your job isn't controlling you. You chose to work. You chose to nurse. You are the only one who can change the situation that you are in. Switch to formula, have your husband take a more active role in helping you with the children, and stop the suffering act. This is harsh, but you don't need people to coddle you right now. You're falling apart and this affects everyone in your family. It's time to fix this mess and get back on track.


Another possibility: Could she be wanting you for comfort nursing and then throwing up what she's had because she was full?

Also, 3-4 weeks is a funny age, ask Moxie has a good post on it.


Sorry, meant to give this link, too


Oh. yeah. the link.



Assvice of a different sort...

Karen, I'm not a teacher so I don't know how grueling your schedule is. Maybe it's common to be so exhausted. But my first reaction on reading your post was to encourage you to see your dr for a thyroid work-up (blood test). Post-partum thyroiditis is really common among new moms and symptom #1 is crushing fatigue. NOT "I'm tired and could use a nap" but all-consuming fatigue where you cease being able to function at a certain point, which is what your post sounded like to me.

At the peak, right before diagnosis, this was my schedule: drag myself out of bed around 6:30. Shower, get ready for work. Get into car (commuting with husband) and fall asleep for hour ride to work. Get to work. Get through the day, crash out around 4:00. Struggle not to fall asleep at my desk (failed a few times). Leave work at 5:30, fall asleep on car ride home (again, husband driving). Haul myself into our apt. Sometimes I'd eat dinner, sometimes I'd go straight to bed and sleep the 12 hours until the next morning. Rinse and repeat. This is NOT normal and can be treated. BTW, thyroid issues could also affect your milk supply.


I dunno, I was exhausted post-partum and my thyroid is fine. I chalked my exhaustion up to the lack of sleep, while recovering from major surgery, in the context of postpartum hormones.

And I do agree, Cindy, that was harsh. Seems to me like Karen is handling it fine.


Oooh Cindy you scare me. I certainly wouldn't want you as my friend.
Karen, you are doing great. It really does get better/easier. You all just need to get used to the routine. And I agree with one of the previous posters. Your husband needs to help you a bit where he can.
Good Luck


I just had to chime in and give my support too and say that I am one of those exceptions who, after agonizing over it for several weeks after going back to work, did supplement my BFing/pumping with a backup supply of formula. My son didn't need it every day, but it was much less stressful for everyone to know that it was there if he did, and I'm happy to report our nursing relationship has continued well after the first year! Every mama has to do what's best for her and her situation and if feeding is causing undue stress, some other area of your relationship is losing out. You can be committed to nursing and still do an occasional formula supplement without automatically backsliding into 100% formula feeding.


I just wanted to say my hat is off to you, your schedule sounds gruelling (and this from another working full-time mother of two). I also wondered where your husband is in all this? Don't be reluctant to ask/demand help. No need to be a hero here. Also I am a little gobsmacked that school starts so early where you are, where I live they do a typical 9-3 (working beyond these hours of course) but none of the teachers I know get to school at the crack of dawn like you!


I don't have time to read all the other posts, so I may say things other have already said.

Formula did not pass my son's lips until he was 10 months old. I was lucky enough to be home with him for nearly 7 months before I had to go back to work. And for the first three months back at work, I somehow seemed to think he would perish if he had to have a bottle of formula. Because I was nursing less, my milk supply diminished, and it became more and more of a challenge to keep up with him. I would have to get up really early in the morning, while everyone else was sleeping, to try and pump enough to leave milk for him, I pumped a few times a day at work, my life was all work, pump, anxiety.

I don't remember what finally got me to give him formula, but what a relief when I finally did. Nothing bad happened to him, or to me. I got to sleep better, work better, suffer less. He got to eat as much as he wanted to while I was at work, instead of being limited to the amounts that I could pump. I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner.

You have to do what you have to do, and I did it, too, but a bottle or two of formula a day will not diminish you as a nursing mother, will not negatively impact her health or well-being, and might well make things easier and better for everyone all around. You'll be less stressed, which might help with the nursing, too. I found that once we got into the routine, my milk supply adjusted perfectly to my nursing my son before I went to work, when I came home at night, and all the time on the weekend. I never gave him formula when I was around, only when others were taking care of him. I continued nursing him until well past a year. When I had twin girs a few years later, I simply could not keep up with them, and had to supplement with formula. I was much less stressed about it, and everyone did just fine.


Geez, Cindy, get over yourself. You are not in Karen's shoes, you do not know her situation, and she does not write posts to get finger-wagging. She has already stated that she doesn't really have a choice to go back to work (who would choose that with a 3-month-old at home?).

I can only hope that when you encounter a difficult situation, you receive some sympathy and no one treats you as harshly as you have treated Karen.


It's been a while since you've posted! I hope that all is settling down and that things are going more smoothly. Keep us posted when you can.


Hope you are all OK. That is all.


At the huge risk of being flamed I say go with formula. My kids had the boob for 3-5 months each and are now hugely healthy 15 and 11 year olds (twins on the last go ;) Quit pumping and only breast feed when you are home?

Formula does NOT equal Failure!

Sorry to read you are so stretched to the limit. Let what can go, go. Focus on spending the extra time on YOU and the kids.

Hang in there, it does all get easier. Just yesterday I was musing to husband that the kids are so independent and need me so much less physically these days.


Hope all is well. Love reading about your experience and hope to keep learning from it as you go.


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